Puzzled and concerned...
We had a double tradgedy on our little homestead last night. We are in Wyoming and we had a sudden drop in temp last night. Our ladies have been used to roosting out of the hen house in our baby lamb "hut" (called hut because not fully enclosed). The night time temp has been right at or above freezing, so we took the heat lamps out of the chicken coop quite awhile ago and put it in the baby lamb hut. Our up front barnyard area is fully fenced, however the chicken can access any shelter they choose, chicken coop, pig "coop" (it was the original coop made from pallets) and the lamb "hut" also made from pallets. We made a proper coop to get the chickens through our cooooooold winters.
Last night the temp dropped considerably! At 6am it was 25*. I had no idea we were going to dip that low last night. It was 76* yesterday day temp. We had already taken the heat lamp out of the lamb hut (we just have three 8wk old bummers right now and they did fine).
We found one chicken, Ruby, dead in the pig hut, looked like smothered from the mama pig. Mama pig is pregnant and I think Ruby got rolled on. She may have been roosting, got too cold and fell off too, hard to tell. No blood, no gore. Looked like she got rolled on. These ladies are our experienced layers and my kid's first egg-layer pets. We also found Freckles, roosting above the baby lambs but her head and neck were dangling. She is alive, was quite cold, acts very groggy, had leg and wing strength, but little to no neck strength. She can't put her own head back on her shoulders. It just dangles. We can help her place it there and she has plenty of eye lid blinking (but she wants to sleep), she can move her beak, weakly cluck, and has a little bit of head movement side to side when her head is back on her shoulders.
Right now she is wrapped in a towel being held and coddled by the kids. We are making oatmeal to see if she will eat any. She isn't shivering anymore, although I think she has the occasional shudder from pain. Any other suggestions out there?
I have a small arsenal of things I can try... children's pain relievers... nutridrench and other lamb multivitamins... karo syrup. The basics a shepheard would have for lambing. My chickens have been healthy this last year... happy free rangers. All I've had to do is check for the occasional parasite, but the girls usually do a bang up job of finding their own spot to dust bathe.
Any help appreciated.